“Let me tell you the steps I take when I’m hiring domestic help in Nigeria… all that American niceness left me 3yrs ago when I started my own family.
1. I do due diligence… I learnt to interview from the Americans. It is not Q and A type interview… it is a conversation. When people feel you are interested in them; they will give you details that will shock you. And someone like me… I remember even the most innocuous details and I write them down on my laptop.
2. Every domestic aide of mine has a file. Every staff of mine has an eFILE. It is important to do hear paperwork. Save them on a cloud or even on Google Drive self.
3. I never EVER pay salary by hand. Or in cash. I used to do so, but never again. Not since an intern told tales about me last year claiming that salaries and allowances and advance that I gave to her was never given to her. This almost damaged my reputation. I don’t pay anything above 5k by hand. Even dash money that I want to give enters into a valid bank account these days. It is so important that whom ever you hire, has a bank account and that you have the bank details. If they don’t have one, please help them open a savings account. Preferably in a bank where you know people. That’s how to trace them.
To own a bank account now in Nigeria you must have done BVN which includes finger prints; picture taking and another form of identification usually a drivers license; permanent voters card; Nigerian passport or National identity card. If they are students then a valid school Identity. Good enough that you cannot open a bank account or hold a valid bank account with company ID or fake ID anymore… you must have a government issued identity card.
4. Have I said always pay money into an account? No matter how small? Even the ones that look like Virgin Mary will deny you ever paid them when the chips are down. You should have a track record of payment made. A bank slip is a valid track record. If they do not have accounts please open one for them. Besides, that’s why I like BVN. They collect personal data tire… So it means even your village and LGA is in a database somewhere. Please always pay domestic staff salaries into your account. We only have to train our law enforcement on how to use these data banks to track criminals…
5. If they have family members that they are close to; you should get to know them. And obtain those family member bank account details too. How I do this is by saying I want to send money directly for Christmas or Sallah to their parents or their spouse or sibling so that it will reach them directly. They will gladly give you the account details of such a person. Even if it is a one time payment. Save that account detail for the future. Family ties are strong in Nigeria and if you ever need to find them you can track them that way.
6. I take lots of pictures which I don’t need for anything. Like when we goof around in the office or at events or at home. I always include the help and domestic aide. I want to have their pictures in case I am asked to produce a likeness.
7. Anyone who lives with me as a domestic aide gets registered at Force HQ. Yes you have to pay to do the registration. And like with all things Nigerian police it is a hassle to do, but it is worth it. This was formerly limited to house helps and nannies. After yesterday, I am adding driver to the fold. It also puts the fear of God in them. Look for the nearest divisional HQ and register your helps.
8. I also ask for pictures of their family members sometimes. I put in my family album. After all they are part of the family.
9. Whatever work related money I give even for medical treatment is signed for. Did I say open a file? Shred the file after every 24/36months if you want to reduce paperwork but best to shred long after they leave you. If you run a private company please also make company identification tags for them. And in the identity form, ensure that you get every personal detail possible. Also ensure you get valid signatures. Let them sign like 20times on a blank sheet. But also take them to the National Identity Management Commission and help them get an identity card if they have none. You pitch to them that it for their own good. Also make a copy of all the identity slips for your files. It contains all sort of vital information.
With the excessive rate of kidnapping and armed robbery in Nigeria today our personal safety and security is in our hands. Those closest to you are the most likely to know your weak points and are more likely to be tempted to do you harm.
Nothing like being laid back or lazy when dealing with these folks. Until we get proper security agencies that can properly track criminals through 2nd and 3rd hand information, you have to greatly supplement their services by being proactive…
Thank me later ”
Written by Ifeoma Malo (Culled from Facebook)